Cultural Collage at Ngan Po Ling College, Hong Kong
From 1st December to 7th December 2015, a group of 7 selected Year 4 students, led by Mdm Khoo Geok Hwa and Miss Belinda Goh, visited Hong Kong on a Cultural Collage as part of a partnership with Ngan Po Ling (NPL) College, and for a better understanding the cultural and science arena in Hong Kong. A total of 10 Schools from mainland China, New Zealand and Taiwan along with NPL Collage itself participated in the event. The main objective of the Cultural Collage is for participants to appreciate different cultures through interaction with students from other countries, embark on a learning journey to Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) for an exposure to coastal marine research programme, participate in debates, attend special lessons in NPL College, visit places of interest and experience living with Hong Kong counterparts and interact with the host families.
On Day 1 in Hong Kong, we found the city rather like Singapore, a bustling metropolitan city. We visited Hong Kong Disneyland in the morning, which brought back several good memories for those who had been there. In the afternoon, we arrived in NPL College to join in the group ice-breaking activities to get to know students from other schools better. Thereafter, we spent the first night with their buddies and had a chance of adapting to life in a family in Hong Kong.
The next day was followed by students attending the lessons. It was an enriching experience for all although most of the content is related to that taught in Singapore. Also, we could see the enthusiasm of our buddies and our friends during break time. However, at times, there would be a language barrier as the buddies spoke with their friends in Cantonese, a dialect that is not familiar to the young people in Singapore. In the afternoon, we visited HKUST, where we had a chance to go to the Marine section and learn more about marine life and global warming. We even had a chance to touch different marine life kept in tanks which are adjusted to suite their living conditions. We learnt that all of us ought to play a part in fighting global warming so that we can see more of such wild life and not regret later.
On Day 3, the students participated in the Mass Debate. During this debate, the students collaborated and cooperated with pupils from the other participating schools and learnt how to go with the flow of the debate. This debate had allowed many of the students step out of their comfort zone and be more comfortable with public speaking. Also, the questions were unexpected, so that ensured that every participant was on equal footing, which is considered fair. Thereafter each debate session, there was a session when constructive peer feedback was given, which is also important, as the students can help others to improve and vice versa. The debate had allowed several students to apply similar rebuttals used into daily life. In the afternoon, a mega quiz was carried out, during which several groups had to be called up onto stage to dance just because they answered first. From the funny tune of Bar Bar Bar to the Indian classic Jai Ho, everyone had fun laughing and participating in the quiz. It had taught everyone several aspects of sustainable development and also teamwork. This is an enriching experience since students from a particular school usually only get to talk to their schoolmates.
On Day 4, every school prepared a special item to on their school, country and culture for the Cultural Collage Closing Ceremony. Distinguished guests included Mdm Ngan Po Ling, the founder of the College, New Zealand Consul, Singapore Vice-Consul and representatives from the 5 different countries. For Dunman High, we were the first to perform a skit with songs and dance showcasing Singapore’s history from Sang Nila Utama’s founding of Singapura till this year as the nation celebrates SG50. It was met with good comments and applause from the other students and the Vice Consul of Singapore to Hong Kong, Mr Howard Foo. We felt really proud and united as we gave our best on that night, after much preparation and effort put into the item. We also got to enjoy other schools’ performances and appreciate their cultural elements. Thereafter, everyone complimented each other during the dinner, which made them feel proud of the land and school they were representing. In the night, we spent our last night at NPL College by working in groups again and playing mass games, which put our teamwork and strengths into action, whilst attempt new skills.
On Day 5, all participants were taken to several attractions in Hong Kong such as The Peak, Hong Kong Police Museum and Lei Yue Mun. It was very cold and rainy that day in the high altitude, but everyone was prepared with thick clothing and umbrellas. At the Police Museum, the students could see that several punishment for crimes imposed in Hong Kong are different from that of Singapore. For example, the death penalty is abolished in Hong Kong, but not in Singapore. As it was the last night that the students were going to spend with their buddies, we felt sad and spent the last night wisely with our buddies, treasuring every minute and second spent.
On the final day, lots of tears and words were shed and exchanged as the students bid farewell to our buddies while promising each other that we will keep in contact. This trip has enriched our experience in other culture tremendously, immersed us in the life style of people in Hong Kong, helped us build friendship with friends globally and left wonderful memory in all of us.